Bahama Bob's Rumstyles

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rum Renaissance Day Three: Judging Begins

     Day three has arrived and the rum judging begins today with two tasting sessions.     We start the day with a Panama Red and Panamonte Rum breakfast, followed by the first of the judging sessions.     Next it 's off the "alley", the area of the hotel where all of the XP's meetings with the producers happen, for lunch with Louisiana Spirits.   Second session of judging is next on the agenda.  Finally off to the pool area for some relaxation before heading off to the evening events.

     Breakfast was a real treat, a nice spread of eggs, bacon, fruit, and breads followed by the introduction to two really special rums.     Don Pablo Fernandez has come through again with a pair of premium "breakfast rums".     Panama Red is an overproof rum that has an enjoyable flavor and is fully sipable.    Panamonte is a high end ultra premium rum that is almost beyond description.    There seems to be some magic in the Panama that keeps fantastic rum emerging from this little strip of land in Central America.

     The first round of rum judging featured aged rums.    This was a good way to start the event.    Sometimes it is hard to judge a bunch of flavored or spiced rums right off the bat.    It was good to bet back into the judging environment again and really concentrate on the rums and be able to put all of my preconceived notions aside and just taste the rums.

     Louisiana Spirits, a start up rum distiller that is based just outside of Lake Charles, Louisiana was our host for lunch.     The Rum XP’s were briefed on the ideas behind the building and operating of the new distillery by Trey Litel, Tim Litel, Skip Cortese, and the Distiller, Jeff Murphy who make up the management team.     They are planning to bring tourism, rum distillation, and the local color of Louisiana into one integrated operational program.     They are well underway with the building of the plant, but wet weather in Louisiana this year has held up a lot of the construction of the plant.     It is planned to be placing rum in the marketplace by the spring of 2013.  It was very interesting listening to them present their plans and ideas for this new rum facility.

     It was time again for the XP's to head back in the judging room for the second round of tasting.     This time it was for the white rum and the Cachaca tasting.     Usually one of the least interesting of the groups traditionally, but there were some very good whites this year.     The fun comes for the judges when we are through evaluating and go into the next room for the reveal.    This is  where we get to see what the rums really were.

     After spending some quality time on the beach it was time to head out into the night again.     Nick brought the group a real treat, an original Zaya from Guatemala that we put a pretty good dent in as we sat in the lobby waiting to head out.    The entire group really savored the experience before heading for some fun with our friends from Atlantico.   

       It was back to the Broken Shaker again and this time it was Atlantico Rum that was our host.     All of the usual suspects were on hand to sample Atlantico rums and enjoy the evening.    We sipped the rum and tasted the really unique apps as we sat and talked about everything in the world.   It was already 11:30pm, but the evening was still going strong, but the day was catching up with me and it was time to return to the hotel and some much needed sleep.   

     Here it is again 8:00am and I'm just finishing up today's story of yesterday.   Today is another full day with judging, seminars, and of course the "obligatory" rum parties.   Fill you in on Day 4 tomorrow.   ;o)